Plans unveiled for £1.25 million cycle route along Sunderland's seafront

A two-way cycle route could be set up along Sunderland’s seafront in a £1.25 million project to get people moving.

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 4:20 pm

It would stretch from the Tram Shelter at Seaburn to the Bungalow Cafe at Roker and the A183 Whitburn Road, with £1.125m of its cost secured from the Government’s Active Travel Fund (ATF).

Sunderland City Council says the project would reduce “pedestrian vehicle conflict”, make it safer and support the Government’s vision to get people more active and use sustainable transport.

It says the pandemic has changed the way people travel, with an increase in cycling along the route of 128% during the last 12 months compared to previous years.

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Sunderland City Council has drawn up plans for a new two-way cycle lane proposal along Whitburn Road.

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The council has accessed cash from the Department for Transport’s Emergency Active Travel Fund and says it would lose out if it turned it down, with the authority to meet the remaining £125,000 needed.

It wants to hear from residents and businesses before it makes a decision, with consultation to be agreed at its cabinet session on Tuesday, June 15.

The council adds disruption to traffic will be kept to a minimum, noting North Tyneside Council’s seafront cycle lane and one way road system during the pandemic proved “very controversial”.

The hatched markings to offer drivers protected right turns off the southbound carriageway would go as part of the scheme, allowing the cycle path to be put in place along side the coastal side of the road.

To make way for the path, it would remove central hatch markings, so drivers turning into one of the seven junctions from the southbound carriageway would need to wait in the road to make their manoeuvre.

The only stretch where there would be constraints for the two-way lane would be Roker Bridge, where it will become shared for around 130 metres, with the route to be widened into the road.

Pedestrian refuges would be taken out, with a new zebra crossing installed and a traffic signal-controlled crossing replacing the existing zebra crossing, with cycle parking facilities also planned.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of the council, has said the authority wants to hear people's views on the scheme.

Councillor Graeme Miller, council leader, said: “We are a listening council and we want to hear from local people about the cycle ways at the seaside and the impact they may have on different groups.

“We know that cycle friendly routes will help us achieve a more sustainable city, as well as ensuring day trippers, travelling by bike, feel this is a place they can enjoy.

"But we also want to do so in a way that delivers for residents – and that responds to their feedback.”

The pedestrian refuges would be scraped along the road, with new crossings to be put in place.

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